Terence Crawford ordered by WBO to defend against Alexis Rocha

By Brian Webber: Terence Crawford has now been ordered by the WBO to defend his 147-lb title against #1 Alexis Rocha next. The two have 20 days to negotiate a fight before a purse bid.

Despite the fight being ordered, it doesn’t mean that it’ll happen. Crawford, 35, will vacate his WBO title if he can get the Errol Spence Jr unification fight next. The two have little time to negotiate a deal because the purse bid is three weeks away.

BLK Prime and Golden Boy Promotions must put together a deal fast. This is the type of fight that Crawford has always been in a hurry to make because it’s very winnable and on par with his other fights since he moved up to the 147-lb division in 2018.

Crawford would be better off fighting Spence if he wants to make the most amount of money, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. If it doesn’t, Crawford will fight Rocha, and Spence could move up to 154 to fight Keith Thurman.

Rocha (22-1, 14 KOs) hasn’t done much to earn a title shot but is still getting it due to the previous #1 WBO mandatory Vergil Ortiz Jr choosing to go the WBA route for a title shot against ‘regular’ welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis.

Some boxing fans will be eager to see Crawford and Rocha battle it out because it’s a fight that promises to have a lot of fireworks.

Rocha was outboxed by Rashidi Ellis, losing by a 12 round unanimous decision in 2020 in a competitive but still one-sided fight. In six fights since then, Rocha has looked good, winning impressively.

Rocha stopped 38-year-old George Ashie in the seventh round last January in Inglewood, California. That was a weird fight in which Rocha was hit a lot, but eventually, he wore down and stopped the much older fighter.

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If Rocha fights like that against Crawford, he’s going to get knocked out for sure, and he’s going to have problems regardless.

It’s unclear why Rocha’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions have been so eager to let him fight Crawford. They’ve got to know that his chances of success are very slim. Maybe Golden Boy realizes that this is as good as it gets for Rocha and that he won’t keep improving, so they might as well throw him in with Crawford and hope for the best.